Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 32

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Lot 2303

1870 Pattern Silver Dollar. Copper, plain edge. NGC graded Proof 66 Brown. Rarity low 7. Wonderful blue and Lilac toning. Pop 1; the only example graded by NGC. Finest graded by either service and, to this cataloger, one of the most beautifully toned Pattern copper pieces ever offered for sale at auction. Judd-999 as this handsome coin is numbered, is the able handiwork of chief engraver at the mint William Barber, who replaced James Longacre early in 1869. Featured is a petite Liberty seated left-facing. She is supporting a shield and liberty cap on a pole with the right hand and holding an olive branch in the left. The reverse uses the modified STANDARD silver back with only the word STANDARD above the wreath (in 1869, and on some 1870 half dollar patterns, this reads STANDARD SILVER). The wreath surrounding the denomination is of cotton and corn. While listed as Rarity 6 in the pattern references (meaning that as few as 13 to as many as 31 may be known) it is with certainty that this lovely Proof 66 is the finest available. The iridescent color, were it not for the photographs, would be difficult to describe properly, they are so beautiful and ethereal! (PCGS # 61246) .

During the late-nineteenth Century it began to occur to the Treasury Department that a subsidiary coinage -- i.e., one in which there is less than full metallic value relative to face value -- was acceptable to the public at large. The reasoning behind this was the public's ready acceptance of Civil War tokens, shin plasters (private bank notes), and Fractional Currency, none of which had any intrinsic value and yet circulated widely. Patterns such as this may have been the American government's first venture into issuing token coinage. By the 1890s, with silver's price declining fast, our fractional denominations had become true token coinage (although still minted in precious metal). It was not until 1965 when clad coins arrived that the government completed the process.
Estimated Value $12,000 - 14,000.

Realized $13,800

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